The connection of these teeth to overall health and efficiency was valued in a way that was general long before vitamins or infections had been heard of. Toothaches were as inevitable as coughing, and servant buyers and horse dealers scrutinized the potential purchases’ teeth. But in recent times has attention been given to the care and preservation of the teeth.
Early studies of the cause and prevention of dental caries suggested there may be a single causative factor but further results reveal that the problem is a complex one, with diet, heredity, internal secretions, mechanical factors, and oral hygiene of greatest importance.
Diet and Dental Caries
There’s now general agreement that diet likely is the most significant single element in the maintenance of sound, healthy teeth, and that a decent diet is the most essential through the period of most rapid expansion. McCullum and Simmonds complete that rats which are stored to a diet in a part of the period have poor teeth and decay, although a decent diet is provided. In the days before viosterol had been developed and before cod-liver oil had been widely used, McCullum reported that at the age of entering school 9 per cent of children who had been breastfed for at least 6 weeks had dental caries, 22 percent of children who were fed on cow’s milk or on milk mixtures, and 27 per cent who were fed on oatmeal water and other prepared meals. This would demonstrate that the base of health is laid quite early in life, but it appears that the period is of importance in this aspect. The emphasis is now being placed upon a proper diet while pregnant. Click here to get started
Important though diet is, there doesn’t seem to be any single dietary component which is responsible for dental caries. Calcium and phosphorus, both minerals found in teeth and bones, and vitamin D, which regulates the use of those minerals from the body, are essential. Of these, Vitamin D and calcium were first thought to be of importance: but the work seems to indicate that phosphorus is of as great if not greater significance than calcium. Certain vegetables, milk, and fish foods are rich sources of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is likely to be deficient in natural foods throughout winter months but is administered in the form of viosterol, vitamin D milk, or cod-liver oil.
Kids have long been denied candy because of the belief that sugar is connected to dental decay, and specific studies completed in institutions for orphans where the diet is strictly controlled suggest the prevalence of dental caries is directly related to the amount of carbohydrate from the diet. Cereals, where this grain’s hull has been removed, seem to have a negative influence and researchers think that oatmeal contributes directly to the formation of caries.
Divergent opinions regarding the relation of diet to dental health leave one quite perplexed. Apparently, no one dietary factor is responsible for resistance but various elements are essential for the growth and soundness of tooth. For practical purposes, a well-rounded diet, comprising amounts of milk, orange juice, fresh fruits, vegetables, as well as for children cod-liver oil or some other form of vitamin D, might be depended upon to supply the nutritional requirements of the teeth.
It is frequently said that”a sterile tooth never decays.” Whether this is true depends upon the definition of cleanliness. If cleanliness implies freedom from germs, the announcement is accurate. But with bacteria within the mouth and at the food we eat, it is not possible to get the teeth.
The mechanism of corrosion is through the action of acids made by bacterial decomposition of meals, first upon the tooth and then on the softer dentine of the tooth. This acid upon the tooth structure’s activity may begin in any crevice, irregularity, or fracture in the tooth. The quantity of decomposition and acid formation is greatest when there are gross accumulations of food substances. In reality, it is between the teeth, where it’s difficult to prevent accumulations of meals that rust most frequently begins. Although cleanliness of their teeth is alluring the sole factor in the prevention of dental decay, as well as the one that is most important it is not without significance.
Some clarification of this aspect of the problem was given by current studies of these bacteria found in the mouth. If a specific germ called Lactobacillus acidophilus occurs in quantity caries develop with great rapidity. This is only because these bacteria act upon carbohydrates on and around the teeth to produce acids which dissolve the enamel and the dentine. These studies also have proven that when persons have an excessive number of lactobacilli in their mouths, the number of caries can be reduced from the elimination of sugars and other carbohydrates from the diet.
It now appears that certain compounds applied to the teeth may neutralize the acids formed by the action of germs upon carbohydrates and so reduce caries. A number of the chemicals are currently being included in so-called”ammoniated” toothpaste.
Fluorine and Dental Caries
Throughout the past several year’s investigations have taken a different turn. It was determined that the only chemical difference between carious and non-carious teeth is the fact that carious teeth contain a chemical component that’s present in minute amounts in teeth and the bones, less fluorine. This was followed by an investigation of the fluorine content of the drinking water in regions in which caries are infrequent and regions in which they are prevalent. Here again, a gap in fluorine content was discovered. From such studies, it’s been concluded that the presence of approximately 1 part of fluorine per 1,000,000 components of drinking water results in a prevalence of caries. Incidentally, fluorine in this amount causes some mottling of the tooth.
Proceeding on the basis of the information, many researchers have experimented with the use of fluorine into the surface of the teeth of the children. Within this analysis, Armstrong and Knutson reported the application of 2 percent sodium fluoride solution to the teeth led to 40 percent caries within a span of a year at 289 children developed in 326 untreated controls. No healing effect was noted on teeth in which caries existed. This usage of fluorine for the prevention of dental caries is a field of the investigation but it is still in the experimental stage.
Other exceedingly important studies are those where sodium fluoride in minute quantities has been added to the water supplies of many cities that have low fluoride content. In case this should prove effective in preventing caries, then it will be a fantastic step in the hands of the widespread of human ailments.
Which other elements play a role in determining the health of teeth is evident from the fact that some persons remain immune from caries no matter how jagged the diet or just how damaging the mouth, but some develop caries through the diet plan, as far as we could tell, is completely adequate and the care of the mouth ideal. One of those factors probably will be heredity, and also the operation of the glands of internal secretion may be another.